October 18, 2018

What’s The Best Way To Do Portion Control?

Ask The Doctor > Nutrition > What’s The Best Way To Do Portion Control?

What does eating in moderation mean? To put it simply, it is a healthy way to help you from overeating while at the same time not allowing yourself to go into starvation. Eating in moderation is very important in order to maintain good health and also help you lose weight.

For those of you who haven’t tried this yet, allow me to give you a few tips:

Make sure you allow yourself enough time to eat a healthy breakfast in the morning and get plenty of sleep at night. Why are these two things important? Well, studies have shown that well rested individuals and those who take the time to eat breakfast in the morning are far less likely to overeat the remainder of the day.

Speaking of sleeping, if you have a habit of snacking late at night, it might be helpful for you to go to bed earlier. Thus, instead of eating unhealthy snacks late at night, you’re allowing your body to rest instead. When you wake up in the morning, eat breakfast.

This one is very important: Keep a food diary for at least a week and track everything you consume. Everything meaning, food and drink. Sometimes by just having a food log track everything you’ve had for the week can be a great wake up call for you to start eating healthier.

We often eat without even realizing it. Have you ever started eating a bag of chips and you realize you’ve eaten the entire thing? And you have no idea how you finished it so quickly. Things like this are important to write down. That bag of chips could be a food weakness you have.

Also when you’re writing down everything you consume throughout the day, include all the facts, like the quantity or volume, the type of food, and the time you ate it. For example, “1 apple, a garden salad, and a glass of water at Noon.”

A great place to start if you’re a beginner, is to cut down or eliminate sugary foods all together. An often question asked is, is it okay to snack? Yes and no. If you are snacking on a healthy snack, that is okay. But if you’re snacking on a bag of chips or chocolate, I would advise against it.

However, you can allow some “treats”, perhaps a piece of dark chocolate. Start off by only having one sweet a day. And when you do have that sweet, instead of inhaling it – take your time and enjoy it. This will allow you to not be quite so eager to have more. By setting these small, but significant goals can tremendously help you with the risk of overeating.

Substitute quality for quantity. If you feel hungry 15-30 minutes after eating a meal, try snacking on healthy foods like a bag of carrots or celery, or even a bowl of vegetable soup. Foods that have little nutritional value will take a longer time for you to fill up. When meals and snacks are built around vital nutrients and healthy ingredients, it is easier to be satisfied after eating them.

Learn to measure appropriate portions. Have you ever gone to a very expensive restaurant and you order their salmon. They end up bringing you a plate of a small square of fish in the center. That is what a serving size actually looks like. Many people don’t realize that a serving size of meat is actually about the size of a deck of cards. With less food on your plate from the beginning, will often satisfy a person just as well as a full plate would. If you are still hungry after your plate, opt for only a healthy second helping like fruits and vegetables.

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Dr. Jimmy Obaji M.D.

Dr. Jimmy Obaji completed his residency in Family Medicine at the University of Manitoba. He currently operates a walk-in-clinic in downtown Toronto.

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